A boom lift machine hoists a worker toward the roof of a material storage facility. There is snow on the ground, and part of the exterior wall of the facility is removed.

Limestone Storage Collapse Forensic Review

Rapid resolution support

Project Facts

Location Broceni, Latvia
Owner SIA Cemex


When one of two storage buildings in Broceni, Latvia collapsed under heavy snow after having been in service just over two years, the property insurer filed suit against the parties involved in the design and construction of the original storage buildings. Our team was retained by the design-build contractor for expert support. We reviewed project documentation and analyzed the allegations related to the appropriateness of the snow loading selected at the planning stage of the project as well as the structural design of the buildings. Thanks to our trusted structural analysis, reports and deposition testimony, the case was resolved in mediation before trial.

About the project

The structural support for the two material storage buildings relied on a series of arches constructed from cold-formed steel. Following a partial collapse due to heavy snow loading on one of the buildings, the facility management decided to proactively demolish the second structure. Although it was unaffected by the snow event, they sought to replace both buildings, after which the owner’s insurance provider filed a lawsuit against the original design-builders alleging fault for the collapse.

Our team was engaged by the legal representation of the design-build contractor to assess the allegations concerning the appropriateness of the snow loading specified during the project’s planning stage and the structural design of the buildings. Our subject matter experts meticulously reviewed contemporaneous project documentation, conducted independent structural analyses of key elements, and examined laboratory test results. This comprehensive endeavor encompassed the preparation of expert reports and the provision of deposition testimony, ultimately playing a crucial role in achieving a resolution during mediation before trial. It serves as a testament to the importance of having seasoned experts on your side when navigating legal challenges.